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Meet Erik Del rio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erik Del Rio.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been an artist as Far back as I can remember. Back when I was 8 years old I remember watching beat street and Breakin’ and being infatuated with the graffiti showcased in these films. Later on I found myself delving deep into skateboarding and remember seeing candid graffiti shots as backdrops in skate magazines. Nothing was ever more compelling than large colorful typography with such style. I was hooked and in search of more, unfortunately back in 1992 Houston did not have much graffiti, just remnants of gang graffiti and old ‘x loves x’ tags throughout my side of town. I later linked up with a friend named Efrain who was also dabbling in the art. He showed me some of his sketches and we began our journey. This phase didn’t last long for him, he had his mindset on school while I was the kid who daydreamed about being in skate magazines and videos. We would exchange sketches and critique each other’s work but I knew this wasn’t the end of the line for me we then came across a few murals done by Gonzo back then these were all commissioned murals but we had no idea,  we thought they were done illegally. Later down the line I met a few writers from different sides of town who were just as passionate as I was. THAT’S when the ball started rolling.

Please tell us about your art.
In 1999 well after establishing my name throughout the city I was doing murals for local businesses, a few of those businesses happen to be tattoo shops. More than a handful of artists would always try and sway me into doing tattoos but I felt I wasn’t ready I couldn’t picture myself giving someone a piece of my art that they would carry with them forever. With graffiti if you don’t like it you buff it, this is not the case for tattooing. Although I had a vast number of brave friends they all donated their skin as my canvas (I’m sorry guys). Right around this time I was just as hungry to excel in this medium as I was with graffiti however with tattooing it wasn’t so easy. I learned how to finesse my art so that it would look good as a tattoo not just as a illustration on paper. This also helped me in being more vigilant with my graffiti although graffiti has its instant gratifications as a  quick drying medium it most definitely gave me the opportunity to be more patient and push harder.

After a few years of doing both graffiti and tattoos I got into doing gallery shows this was definitely a learning curve,  as graffiti (in my eyes) only pertains to the side that society frowns upon (done illegally) but with the help of great friends I was able to get my foot in the door. And create art on canvas as I did on walls and skin.

I hope that with every custom piece I create people will walk away with either a reflection of my personality or something they are completely enamored by to be able to call their own. I strive to put as much positive energy in my paintings so it brings that same feeling into anyone’s home or skin.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think if anything now in today’s day with social media it’s the best time to be an artist. I don’t think it’s a challenge per say but definitely a catalyst to staying ahead of the curve. This will help you see art across the globe without having to leave your home. I think there’s a very Positive plus side to that. However, inspiration may be at your doorstep it doesn’t hurt to see what ‘x’ artist is doing in Japan or anywhere across the world.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My murals and graffiti can be seen throughout the city or through any of my social media platforms. Anyone is more than welcome to go to my gallery shows and support. For tattooing I work primarily by appointment only but try and make time for walk-ins when I can.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Erik Del Rio

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